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Kurt Daudt

Speaker of the House

Minnesota
House of
Representatives

December 15, 2016


The Honorable Mark Dayton
Governor of Minnesota
116 Veterans Services Building
20 W 12th Street
St. Paul, MN 55155
via electronic delivery
Dear Governor Dayton:
House Committee Chairs and members have been working diligently to come to an agreement
with your staff and commissioners on the Tax, Bonding and Health Insurance Relief bills. At our
December 2 meeting, we agreed to empower our members and your commissioners who know
these subject matters best. Per that framework, our issue area experts have been meeting almost
daily with either members of your administration or legislators from the other three caucuses. I
am thankful for their continued effort towards reaching consensus.
Your letter Tuesday outlining new additions to the bonding bill and drastic changes to the tax bill
showed a significant departure from the progress I thought we had made.
Throughout the interim, we negotiated in good faith with you to bring the bonding bill even
further in line with your requests. This week you took a step backward, undoing months of work
by all parties. Projects that were set aside long ago have reemerged in your new proposal. For
example, six months ago we agreed to not pursue MSOP Phase 2, but you are now demanding
that project along with items never before included in your requests or discussions like Gateway
Corridor BRT. You also wrote your intention is to use Appropriation Bonds for your requests
which have much higher interest rates than General Obligation Bonds and therefore a greater
cost to Minnesota taxpayers. Lastly, in your new proposal for the transportation portion of the
bonding bill you preserve earmarks for your projects while stripping out our priorities that are
immediately awaiting funding.
As it relates to the tax bill, Republicans and Democrats worked together to craft legislation that
earned more than 89 percent of the legislatures support. While the state has had a surplus for
more than two years, Minnesotans have not and they are rightfully wondering when they will
receive tax relief. Minnesota parents are desperately seeking relief from child care and college
tuition expenses, farmers await ag-land property tax relief, and veterans are counting on tax
credits to improve their quality of life. Your new proposal forces them to wait until 2018 to see
that relief.

Our caucus remains committed to providing Minnesotans with both short-term relief and longterm solutions for the health insurance crisis. House Republicans have been working with your
administration and legislators from all caucuses to move forward on a solution for health
insurance relief and I have instructed our members to continue those discussions. If we agree and
enact a solution during special session, your administration informs us Minnesotans could start
seeing those benefits as early as March or April 2017.
While I remain hopeful all sides can come to an agreement, your recent letter was a setback to a
solution all sides can accept. If you are seriously committed to a special session, I request that
you back away from these new demands (which were not discussed at the December 2 meeting)
and permit your commissioners and staff to finalize the bills with our members and legislators
from the other caucuses.
Sincerely,

Speaker of the House


Minnesota House of Representatives